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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

June 2, 2008

the evolution of baby strollers

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu,q.s. quickies,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 10:16 am

Do you remember when you could easily see a baby in its stroller — and could tell whether a baby was actually in a stroller without getting a search warrant? [The little cutie on the far right below is my big sister Linda, in 1949. I don’t know the two other kids.]

. . . . . . . . . . .

A news story with a happy ending over the weekend out of nearby Abany, NY, reminded me of those days and of my occasional bemusement as baby strollers have been super-sized over the past few decades — turning into vehicles that their owners could only transport with vans or min-wagons, or buses. See “Teen saves baby who fell under bus” (Schenectady Daily Gazette, May 31, 2008); and “Teen: ‘I don’t feel like a hero’: Boy who grabbed baby from beneath bus receives thanks” (Albany Times Union, June 1, 2008); plus a video from CBS-6-Albany). As the TU reported yesterday:

“Amanda Hoffman of Bertha Street was trying to get Anthony, her 5-day-old baby, and a stroller on the bus by pulling the stroller up the stairs of the bus.

“Unknown to her, the baby fell out of the stroller, hit the blacktop and rolled underneath the bus tire, police spokesman Detective James Miller said.”

Luckily, fourteen-year old Tyler Purvis-Mitchell, “saw the baby underneath the bus in front of a wheel. He quickly grabbed the baby as the bus was about to take off.” The infant received only a cut on his forehead and some scrapes, and was released from Albany Medical Center Hospital later that afternoon.

. . . . . . . .

How did this happen? According to the Times Union:

“During an interview at her home Saturday evening, Hoffman said she knew something had dropped out of the stroller, but thought maybe it was a bottle. A strap on a car seat inside the stroller may have been loose or not snapped, she said. She said the teen acted quickly to save Anthony, a dark-haired, 7-pound baby born just May 25.”

Well, I have nothing particularly deep to add to the reactions you are probably having to this tale. One more example of bigger not necessarily being better — and of the importance of an ounce of prevention. Best wishes to Anthony Hoffman for a long and interesting life. And, thanks to Tyler Purvis-Mitchell for his quick thinking and action.

update (June 17, 2008): Tyler Purvis-Mitchell was honored today in a ceremony at our NYS Assembly in Albany. See “Teen hero honored by state Assembly” (, June 17, 2008), which notes that “A resolution was presented on the floor of the State Assembly this morning to celebrate Purvis-Mitchell’s heroism.”  And concludes, “Tyler humbly said he did not expect to be a hero, nor did he ever imagine he would be recognized for saving a life.”

sleepless . . .
the baby’s age
in days

children’s ICU–
a tissue box beside
the pay phone

I smile at her
smiling at the baby

… by John Stevenson from Some of the Silence (Red Moon Press,1999)


  1. As a mom with a giant stroller (actually two: one single and a double), let me explain the SUV-zation of these gadgets: it’s the carseats.

    Car seats, if you don’t know, are now huge and mandated through about age 6. They click onto the giant strollers, handy if you want to let sleeping babies lie.

    This is basically the same explanation I gave Simple Justice for why we have a minivan. Three car seats do not fit handily into the back of a Chevy (believe us, we’ve tried!)

    Not to say that the Baby Needs It All cult is alive and well…

    Comment by Anne — June 3, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

  2. Seems like the Mama Doth Protest Too Much. The modern stroller looks more like taking baby’s whole bedroom with you, not just a place to sit. But, I ‘m still glad you opined, Anne.

    Comment by David Giacalone — June 3, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  3. I am in shock! I don’t understand how a mother could not notice her baby falling out of a stroller! Maybe if she had had a quality stroller with some safer straps or maybe a 5 point harness this horrifying incident never would have happened. Thank goodness for that young man who saved the baby!!

    Comment by June — July 29, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  4. I agree June. Sounds like this mother needs to pay much more attention to her child.

    Comment by babiesblogger — September 14, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

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